Undergraduate Course

BSc Nursing


BSc Nursing


The details
Nursing (Adult)
October 2019
3 years
Southend Campus

Nurses are visible in all walks of life - hospitals, patients' homes, doctors' surgeries and care homes. They form the largest group of staff employed in the health and social care sector, and are crucial to everything we do in society today. With 100% of our undergraduate School of Health and Social Care students in professional employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduating from Essex (DLHE 2017), we're confident our BSc Nursing (Adult) will help you to build a career that really makes a difference.

Adult nurses work with adults of all ages with diverse health conditions. Communication skills are essential to set patients at ease under pressurised and sometimes difficult situations, as is the ability to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care offered to each patient. You must be willing to take responsibility for someone else’s health and well-being, and show the compassion needed to ensure a good nurse-patient relationship.

Unlike many of the older, traditional nursing schools, at Essex you receive a fresh, contemporary and relevant nursing programme. You work with local organisations to ensure that you gain the best experience possible during your time with us, and studying alongside other health professionals means that you also have the opportunity to gain expert knowledge from them. We provide support throughout all aspects of your journey, including dedicated support in literacy and numeracy.

There are four main types of pre-registration nursing degree – child, learning disabilities, adult and mental health. At Essex we offer flexibility by providing 12 different routes into nursing across our two campuses and specialise in adult and mental health nursing at both undergraduate and Master’s level. The elements of both of these courses are shared, developing complementary skills across both areas of nursing. For a full list of the courses available, and information on all of the routes into Nursing available at Essex including our Return to Practice, please see our department pages.

The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.

Placement Opportunities

Half of your studies will be spent working in clinical settings – for example, in a ward, a health centre or in client’s homes. You will be working alongside nurses as you practice and perfect your skills.

Placements are based in NHS, private and voluntary settings throughout Essex. You will work shift patterns whilst in placement equivalent to a 37.5 hour week. This includes early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working.


You can choose to study this course at either our Colchester campus or our Southend campus - and your placements will correspond to the campus you choose. Colchester students will have placements in north Essex, while Southend students will have placements in south Essex.

Why we're great.
  • We're ranked 6th in the UK for Nursing (Guardian University Guide, 2019)
  • Our focus is on producing nurses with empathy as well as technical skill.
  • Much of your study is spent in clinical settings, working alongside nurses and other professionals.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Our expert staff

A unique feature of our School is that many of our staff work with local NHS Trusts and other local agencies, which enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and practice.

We specialise in applied, multidisciplinary research that addresses issues of national and international concern to health and social care policy and practice and related fields. We also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus. Delivering the course across two campuses means that we have small, interactive classes to create a stronger learning environment.

We have purpose-built nursing skills labs at both our Colchester and Southend campuses to meet the needs of a growing and lively School. We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, data-sets, archives and other research materials.

Our dedicated support tutor will help to develop your academic literacy and clinical numeracy skills. This helps you apply these critically important areas of study to real life situations.

Your future

Successful completion of our BSc Nursing (Adult) leads to eligibility to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on the Professional Register as a “Registered Adult Nurse” allowing you to practise as a nurse in the UK.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBC
GCSE: Mathematics and English Language C/4

BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD (in relevant subjects)

Access to HE Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3 at merit or above

You must also have a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) - both of these are organised by the University. A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS Check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more.

NHS Constitution and Values

As part of the selection process, students will be expected to demonstrate effective communication skills alongside good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that a nurse is required to undertake as well as the significance of the NHS Constitution and its core values (you can find further information on these on the Health Education East of England website and the Gov.UK webpages https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.


Example structure

Our Nursing programmes consist of three terms per year. This structure adopts a developmental approach to the mastering of nursing skills and development of knowledge and understanding. It has a 50:50 split between theory and practice which means that for 50% of your programme, you undertake clinical practice by working with nurses in a variety of settings (primary and secondary care, public and private sectors, adult and the elderly, acute care and specialist services). Service user-centred care planning emphasises the holistic nature of health and illness. Alongside this experience, you are given the opportunity to rehearse practical skills in a controlled environment further preparing you for working in the practice environment.

As you undertake a significant part of your programme in placement areas we work in partnership with the NHS and the independent health and social care sector across Essex where you will spend your placement hours so that you gain the best clinical learning experiences. Whilst on placement you will have a mentor allocated to you and contact with a member of the academic team linked to that placement. You will work shift patterns whilst in placement equivalent to a 37.5 hour week. This includes early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working.

Attendance at all parts of this programme is compulsory (as are the modules you study) and must be evidenced in order to register as a nurse.

These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.

We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.

How People Function

This module will provide students with an introduction to biopsychosocial function to develop knowledge, understanding and analysis of altered psychological and physiological functioning of the individual. Students will undertake placement in a relevant practice environment alongside lectures, online learning and personal study. This broad range of learning styles, perspectives and data sources will help further progress knowledge and skills.

View How People Function on our Module Directory

Delivering Compassionate Care as an Adult Nurse

A combination of lectures and two placements (a 2 week placement and an 8 week placement) will help to improve competence in relation to knowledge and skills in the delivery of compassionate care in adult nursing. This introduction to delivering a professional nursing service will also be made up of tutorials, workshops and independent study.

View Delivering Compassionate Care as an Adult Nurse on our Module Directory

Ongoing patient pathways in adult nursing

This module will develop students’ ability to understand the nurse’s role in relation to caring for a patient with long term medical conditional and multiple pathologies. There is a vast range of long term medical conditions that affect the population and nurses need to have a good understanding of pathophysiological changes, diagnostic processes, management interventions and prognosis relating to both individual and multiple pathologies. Students will also study the concept of independent living, including the study of ageing and end of life care, throughout the course of this module.

View Ongoing patient pathways in adult nursing on our Module Directory

Nursing Practice Assessment 1

The majority of this course is spent in clinical practice which will culminate in a pass or fail assessment.

View Nursing Practice Assessment 1 on our Module Directory

Personal Development

This module will focus on the development of personal organisation and management skills for both academic and practice environments. Study will focus on personal development skills such as communication, self-awareness, reflection and boundary setting. The module will be delivered in lectures alongside a variety of group work and interactive learning.

View Personal Development on our Module Directory

Community Engagement

This course will require students to complete a scrapbook portfolio, focused on examining a chosen health challenge and using evidence gathered from a wide range of sources. Students' learning will be self-directed with some seminars facilitated by personal tutors. Undertaking this course will enable learners to consider health need analysis, and the development and evaluation of health promotion strategies.

View Community Engagement on our Module Directory

Critical Appraisal and Research Skills

This module is an introduction to appraising evidence and research used in the basis of clinical decision making. In this module students will develop a research proposal in a clinical area of their choice. Learners will practice their time-management skill and learning through structured e-learning, to allow them to develop existing expertise in research.

View Critical Appraisal and Research Skills on our Module Directory

Service Improvement

This project based module explores the topic of service improvements in health care settings. Learning will mostly be self-directed, with one to one tutorials for supervision, which will culminate in the submission of scrapbook portfolio focused on a self-selected service improvement topic, which includes gathered evidence from a wide range of sources.

View Service Improvement on our Module Directory

Nursing Practice Assessment 2

The majority of this course is spent in clinical practice which will culminate in a pass or fail assessment.

View Nursing Practice Assessment 2 on our Module Directory

Nursing Practice Assessment 3

The majority of this course is spent in clinical practice which will culminate in a pass or fail assessment.

View Nursing Practice Assessment 3 on our Module Directory

Research Activity

This module provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in the research process, by planning a short project to formulate a research proposal or by conducting an in-depth literature review in a nursing-practice related topic. In this self-directed module, students will engage in a wide variety of research related activities and use critical appraisal to make informed decisions.

View Research Activity on our Module Directory


  • Lectures inform you of the most important topics, with classes allowing you to consolidate your learning through discussion
  • We work closely in partnership with the NHS and the independent health sector to provide placement opportunities
  • Modules have their own accompanying webpages on Moodle where you can download relevant readings, power-points, podcasts and YouTube clips, and contribute to online discussions


  • You will be assessed through presentations, coursework and assessments of practical settings
  • You will also undertake two written exams, one in year one and the other in year two

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee


International fee


Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.


Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Interview and tests

Our BSc Nursing course is available at both our Colchester and Southend campuses, and you'll need to apply to one or the other. If your application is successful, and we are able to invite you to an interview, the campus you have selected is where your interview will take place. We are unable to offer an interview or consider you for the same course at both campuses. For applicants who are not based in the UK, we are able to offer interviews by Skype and remote testing. Contact our undergraduate admissions office for further information.

As part of your visit you will complete a literacy and numeracy test. If you successfully complete this you will then have an interview on the same day. Offers for the course will only be made after a successful interview.

The interview and test will form part of the wider day where you will also be able to tour the campus, meet our academics and students and ask any questions you might have about studying with us.

Southend Campus

Visit Southend Campus

With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and a close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.

If you're joining our School of Health and Social Care, East 15 Acting School, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, or Essex Business School, you may well be studying at our Southend Campus.

Famous for its beach resort and pier, Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline, providing plenty of opportunities for a wide range of water sports and leisure activities.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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